Uh Huh, Right………………………

John Roberts – ObamaCare Savior

The Individual Mandate no longer ‘triggers a tax’ beginning in 2019……………………..

Texas District Court: Repeal of Penalty Renders Individual Mandate Unconstitutional — Entire ACA Ruled Invalid (PDF)

“Plaintiffs allege that, following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), the Individual Mandate in the [ACA] is unconstitutional. They say it is no longer fairly readable as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power…. The Supreme Court’s reasoning in [NFIB v. Sebelius] … compels the conclusion that the Individual Mandate may no longer be upheld under the Tax Power. And because the Individual Mandate continues to mandate the purchase of health insurance, it remains unsustainable under the Interstate Commerce Clause — as the Supreme Court already held….

“Congress stated many times unequivocally — through enacted text signed by the President — that the Individual Mandate is ‘essential’ to the ACA…. All nine Justices to review the ACA acknowledged this text and Congress’s manifest intent to establish the Individual Mandate as the ACA’s ‘essential’ provision…. Because rewriting the ACA without its ‘essential’ feature is beyond the power of an Article III court, the Court thus adheres to Congress’s textually expressed intent and binding Supreme Court precedent to find the Individual Mandate is inseverable from the ACA’s remaining provisions….

“Under the law as it now stands, the Individual Mandate no longer ‘triggers a tax’ beginning in 2019. So long as the shared-responsibility payment is zero, the saving construction articulated in NFIB is inapplicable and the Individual Mandate cannot be upheld under Congress’s Tax Power….

“The Court today finds the Individual Mandate is no longer fairly readable as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and continues to be unsustainable under Congress’s Interstate Commerce Power. The Court therefore finds the Individual Mandate, unmoored from a tax, is unconstitutional and GRANTS Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory relief …

“All told, Congress stated three separate times that the Individual Mandate is essential to the ACA. That is once, twice, three times and plainly. It also stated the absence of the Individual Mandate would ‘undercut’ its ‘regulation of the health insurance market.’ Thirteen different times, Congress explained how the Individual Mandate stood as the keystone of the ACA. And six times, Congress explained it was not just the Individual Mandate, but the Individual Mandate ‘together with the other provisions’ that allowed the ACA to function as Congress intended….On the unambiguous enacted text alone, the Court finds the Individual Mandate is inseverable from the Act to which it is essential….

“For the reasons stated above, the Court grants Plaintiffs partial summary judgment and declares the Individual Mandate, 26 U.S.C. Section 5000A(a), UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Further, the Court declares the remaining provisions of the ACA, Pub. L. 111-148, are INSEVERABLE and therefore INVALID. The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory relief[.]”

[Texas v. U.S., No. 18-167 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 14, 2018)]
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

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